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There’s nothing that will raise your blood pressure quite like finding out that you are going to have to pay more for your life insurance because you are treated for high blood pressure. Even when it’s well controlled almost all companies feel they need to bump you down one rate class, almost a 30% increase in premiums.

Most life insurance companies would argue that their best rate class is reserved for those who don’t have any health issues. No medical history to speak of. No medications. Just walking, talking little pictures of perfect health. But wait.

One company that bumps you a rate class for blood pressure treatment will allow their best rate class if you have type 2 diabetes and happen to be over 60. Another will bump you a rate class for the hypertension while allowing their best rate class for bipolar disorder in some cases. It’s important, I think, to note that neither of these companies have any provision, any criteria, where you can qualify for their best rate class with treatment for hypertension.

That’s the bad news when it comes to applying for life insurance with treated blood pressure. The good news is that there are a few companies out there who don’t see eye to eye with the rest of the life insurance world on this issue. Just as most companies see treated, well controlled cholesterol as a good thing, Banner Life and Minnesota Life believe that high blood pressure, treated and well controlled is not an issue that should keep you from their best rate class. They, in a sense, reward the fact that you acknowledge the problem and that you are taking care of it.

Banner Life does want to see a two year period where blood pressure readings have been under 136/86, not an unreasonable request. A track record of control is a good thing. Minnesota Life goes a step further and as long as your blood pressure on the exam is 135/85 or better and you are being treated, in the absence of any other factors that would bump you out of the best rate class, you win.

Bottom line. Not all companies are created equal. Most companies have an area where they take a stand that makes them a “go to” company for a specific set of clients. This is, again, why using an independent agent with access to a large number of companies is a real value added for you as a customer.